Seven-time NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady is hoping to launch a new career as a professional baseball pitcher with the Sugarland Skeeters in the Atlantic League this season.
“Tracy McGrady is one of the most elite athletes of this era and we appreciate his interest in pursuing a life-long dream with the Sugar Land Skeeters and the Atlantic League,” the team said in a statement on Tuesday. “While the Atlantic League is considered the highest level of baseball outside of Major League Baseball, McGrady has demonstrated skill, determination and diligence during his training program at Constellation Field. We look forward to monitoring his progress.”
In 2012, Roger Clemens pitched two games for the Skeeters, so McGrady would not be the first high-profile player signed in a move that many saw as a publicity stunt.
If McGrady can actually pitch at a professional level, this is a win-win for him, the team and the league. However, if the Skeeters sign the former Houton Rockets star solely for his name recognition value, it’s another piece of evidence that the independent baseball’s detractors are right – that it isn’t worth the same level of respect or attention as affiliated Minor League Baseball.
Time will tell.
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